Cutting-edge technologies are being used to improve supply chain visibility and industry transparency as part of the South Australian Dairyfarmers’ Association (SADA) traceability trial.
SADA Dairy Action Plan Officer Ashleigh Pulford said the trial would use blockchain and distributed ledger digital technologies to create the most secure and transparent supply chain in history.
“Until now, labelling has been the source of trust for consumers in Australian and international markets, but this technology will allow all participants in the supply chain – including consumers – to track the milk from the farm to the product they hold in their hand,” Ashleigh said.
“Consumers will be able to see details such as temperature every step of the way, while farmers will be able to see where their milk ends up.”
At part of the trial, farmers and processors will be given smart devices such as iPads loaded with a dashboard where farmers can input data such as milking location, time, volume and temperature, which will be matched to each vat via a digital footprint.
“This is information that farmers are already collecting and recording, so it’s no extra work for them,” Ashley said. “And digitising this information offers many benefits for industry.”
For example, processors will know exactly how much milk is at each farm, which will assist with logistics and milk payments.
And farmers will be able to see their lab results within a day or two after milking rather than weeks later, which means they can act quickly if there are any issues in the herd.
SADA President John Hunt said the project supported the State Government’s plan to grow SA’s food, wine and agribusiness sectors to $23 billion by 2030.
John said in 2017/18 farm gate sales of milk contributed $195 million to the State economy and just four years later that amount rose to almost $284 million.
“The industry is committed to both continuing that growth and to increasing production amount from 500 million litres per year to 700 million,” he said.
SADA has also welcomed the release of national traceability guidelines. The guidelines were announced in September during a meeting of the National GS1 Traceability Advisory Group (NGTAG). To view the guidelines, visit www.gs1au.org/for-your-industry/dairy